How biophilic office design fuses work and nature

Biophilic office design is very much on-trend at the moment, and many experts in the industry believe that this is set to shape how forward-thinking companies respond to their work environment in the future.

The term ‘biophilia’ is used to refer to the bond humans have with nature. Biophilic design aims to make the most of the relationship we have with nature to create better spaces for working, shopping, living and more.

There are many benefits attached to biophilic design, which has become heavily associated with reducing stress and absenteeism as well as boosting productivity. Biophilic design is all about bringing the outdoors inside. Many world-leading companies have introduced innovative and incredibly expensive forms of biophilic design into their workplaces, including tech giants such as Amazon and Apple.

Bright colours, outdoor spaces and natural features

However, biophilic office design isn’t just for the big boys. More and more companies are taking steps to bring biophilic design into their business premises, if perhaps not on the same multi-million-dollar scale as the world’s most successful tech companies.

Various studies have shown that the addition of plant life and natural light has a substantial impact on employee well-being and energy. In response, many companies are now switching on to the idea of making the most out of any outside areas that might be available by adding comfortable seating, so staff can carry out duties outdoors when the weather permits them to do so. There is also an increased emphasis on bright colours and natural features including wood and stone as well as plants.

Comfortable collaboration

Growing numbers of companies are ensuring their staff have the space they need to work alone and to comfortably collaborate as part of groups without feeling cramped. One Human Space report showed how employees working amongst elements of nature were experiencing lower levels of mental fatigue.

A study named ‘The Relative Benefits of Green versus Lean Office Space’ found that workers met with an exposed level of contact with nature were around 15% more productive than those only given minimal contact.

Plant life also has a big role to play when it comes to improving employee well-being, boosting oxygen levels to reduce mental fatigue and improving concentration, with higher productivity levels being the end result.

Improved morale and better staff retention

Employers are also being advised to add features including wall art and graphics to the working environment alongside better exposure to natural light, external views and additional colour. Making the changes outlined above can also help employees to retain staff and therefore save on recruitment costs.

This means energies can be re-invested in areas away from recruitment, whilst training needs are lowered. One of the main aims of biophilic office design is to create a workspace that staff actively enjoy spending time in and look forward to entering every day. Though it is impossible for some employers to provide staff with more natural light due to the nature of their business premises, morale can be boosted using alternative methods such as adding grass-inspired flooring and other features inspired by nature. Sky ceilings that provide the illusion of being outdoors are also growing in popularity.

Get in touch

The topic of biophilic office design is increasingly being discussed in the business environment, so if this is the direction you would like to take your company in and would like to discuss the practicalities of how this could work in your office space, give us a call at Flow today and we’d be happy to arrange a consultation.

Posted by: The Flow Team on 20th March 2018 @ 12:00 pm
Filed under: News
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